3 Steps to Keep Your Team Motivated

It’s common for teams to feel letdown after reaching a significant milestone. This phenomenon can be attributed to a variety of factors, including the natural decline in excitement after a goal is achieved and the daunting prospect of new challenges ahead.

Experiencing a Team’s Post-Milestone Blues

Leaders often see their teams hitting impressive milestones only to find that morale and motivation plummet soon after. We frequently rationalize this slump as the result of intense effort or the team having pushed themselves to the limit. However, the real reason is often more straightforward and commonly overlooked.

Consider the Minnesota Vikings under Bud Grant’s leadership: they consistently reached the Super Bowl but fell short of clinching the victory. The explanation lies in the nature of expectations. By the time a goal is achieved, it’s already internalized as an inevitable outcome, stripping away the thrill of success. In fact, reaching the goal can lead to frustration due to the increased workload and responsibilities it brings.

This explains why salespeople might undermine their own achievements. Attaining their sales targets can paradoxically feel like a punishment, as it leads to even loftier goals the following year.

Overcoming the Milestone Malaise

So, what can leaders do to help their teams maintain momentum and continue to grow?

It’s crucial to balance the focus between tangible team objectives and personal, intrinsic goals that offer their own rewards.

  1. Foster a Growth Mindset: Cultivate an environment that encourages personal development. This mindset will not only enhance the team’s performance but also prolong their satisfaction with the results. As you approach a goal, initiate discussions about future aspirations and ways to celebrate current successes.
  2. Manage Success: Leaders must devise strategies to handle the additional workload or responsibilities that accompany success, preventing the team from self-sabotage.
  3. Promote Recognition: Ensure you acknowledge and celebrate the team’s progress and impact on the organization.

By implementing these 3 steps to keep your team motivated, leaders can keep their teams engaged and excited about hitting goals. Reflecting on the Vikings’ history, it becomes clear that setting the ultimate goal as merely reaching the Super Bowl inadvertently fostered complacency once the playoffs were in sight. The true aim should have been to win the championship, thereby maintaining a drive for continual success.